I’m a cancer survivor. Three times a year I have to have what’s called a Pet Scan, which is designed to detect any reoccurrence. I go to a lab for the procedure, then have a follow-up appointment with my doctor, who reveals the results of the test.
Generally, I don’t worry too much about the cancer coming back. But the days between the Pet Scan and hearing the result of it can be slightly nerve-wracking. And the minutes in the doctor’s office, waiting for her to enter with the test results, are even more so.
Here’s how she does it. The door opens, she walks in and says “Your scan is perfect! Completely clear! Good morning, how are you...” It’s masterful doctor-patient communication, and I’m deeply grateful for it. She demonstrates understanding and empathy for her patient, and it comes through in her communication. She knows I’m anxious for the test result, so she hits me with it immediately, before any small talk or even a greeting. Perfect.
Doctors, nurses and other health care providers deal constantly with high-stakes communication. The lives of the people they talk to are quite often in the balance. Patients are naturally in the highest possible state of anxiety. The health care worker’s audience is frazzled, frightened, and possible depressed or angry. So the health care worker’s communication skills must be honed and on point.
Clarity and empathy are the keys to effective doctor-patient communication.
Jack Finn Communications can train health care providers to communicate with patients in a way that helps alleviate anxiety and enhances the doctor-patient relationship. Call us today for a free consultation.